A place travelers can visit At Meydani (Hippodrome) Monument
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General description: At Meydani (Hippodrome) MonumentAt Meydani (Hippodrom) Monument
Hippodrome was for the Byzantine Empire what for the Romans was the Coliseum - a place where people met to cheer during competitions, chariot races or fights. It was supposed to accommodate 100 000 people. Currently, almost nothing has been remained of the high walls surrounding the race track, only columns that Constantine had put on a so-called spina, which is a long platform in the middle of the racetrack.
The oldest column is a built in 1900 BC Egyptian obelisk from Luxor, which was moved to the Empire. The adjacent column comes allegedly from Delphi. Nothing is known of the third column of bronze, except that it was restored in the tenth century. The fourth column is topped with a statue of bronze horse and was brought to Istanbul after the fourth crusade to Venice as booty.
Paved road around the lawns, on which there stand columns, used to served as a route of the racetrack. Hippodrome had also an important political function: the viewers identified themselves with a blue or a green team, which was supposed to manifest if they were in favor of reformerms or conservatives. A dispute arose between blue and green coachmen of chariots turned into the Nika uprising in 532, brutally suppressed by the Emperor Justinian. During the uprising 30 thousand people were killed.